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Alan Pardew's men have been plagued by inconsistency in the Premier League but Willie Duncan is backing the Magpies to maintain their solid Europa League home form

Newcastle United will look to put their indifferent league form behind them when they play host to Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 meeting at St James’ Park on Thursday night.

Alan Pardew’s men had enjoyed back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time this season before slipping to defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend and the Magpies can be backed at 6/5 (2.20) with William Hill to bounce back with victory here.

Metalist, of course, have not played a competitive game since losing to Rapid Vienna in the group stages of this competition in December with the Ukrainian league currently midway through a three-month winter break.

Nonetheless, the Ukrainian side are rated as 23/10 (3.30) shots with William Hill to win on Tyneside while the same firm also offer 23/10 (3.30) that the first leg ends in stalemate.

Throughout the competition thus far, Magpies manager Alan Pardew has used the Europa League as an opportunity to give some fringe players an opportunity to make an impact and should that policy continue on Thursday night, a tight match seems likely.

Indeed, William Hill offer just 7/10 (1.70) that the match features fewer than three goals while the same firm offer a tempting 19/20 (1.95) that the contest is level at half time.

However, it should be noted that Newcastle boast an impressive home record in the Europa League, having won three and drawn one of their four home matches in the competition so far and they will fancy their chances of victory against the ring-rusty Ukrainians, who were held to a 1-1 draw with Whitley Bay in a friendly game on Sunday.

Therefore, the Magpies should be backed at an appealing 6/5 (2.20) with William Hill to take a slender lead into next week’s return leg in Kharkiv while the same firm’s juicy 13/2 (7.50) quote for the home side to win 1-0 is the value selection in this match.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Newcastle United to win at 6/5 (2.20) with William Hill
Newcastle United to win 1-0 at 13/2 (7.50) with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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